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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Can dogs count?

Posted Tuesday, September 4, 2012, at 11:22 PM

(Photo)
Ricky the counting Rat Terrier in his senior years.
Many moons ago I delivered the Spencer Daily Reporter in my neighborhood. I had about 70 papers that I bagged and deposited before 7am Tuesday through Saturday. In order to get this accomplished each morning, I set my alarm clock for 5:30am. The four legged alarm clock named Ricky, usually began his wake up call a few minutes before then. Ricky was a Rat Terrier and my first experience with the terrier group. True to his heritage, he was constantly on the go. He'd do laps around the house for no apparent reason, jump, dance, bark, dig, chew, pull my son on his bike, list goes on. Ricky loved to go for walks, so it made sense that he would accompany me each day on the route. We were quite the team. If only I could have taught him to drop the papers on the subscribers doorstep, it probably would have been a more lucrative business. The one thing that Ricky did learn was the route. After all you normally trace the same exact steps each time you go.

One week, in the winter, I had a customer that was gone, so he had asked me to hold his papers until he returned. As we were making our rounds, we came across this house. Just as he should, he turned toward the house ready to make our delivery. When I refused to follow him, he gave me this look as if to say, "Hey, I think you're forgetting someone!" I was truly impressed by this maneuver. How did he know? Was he counting houses, steps, smells? Dogs are amazing creatures.

After 15 wild and wonderful years, Ricky was laid to rest in that same neighborhood. Long live the 4 legged paperboy on 2nd Avenue SW. Ricky dog, you were one in a million:-)


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RIP Ricky, have fun at the Rainbow Bridge, tell Gretchen, Jenny, Patches, Rocky, and Sandy hello. Forever in our hearts

-- Posted by Maribeth on Wed, Sep 5, 2012, at 5:49 AM


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My name is Stephanie O'Brien. I'm an animal lover and enjoy volunteering. I have combined those passions into providing a temporary home to animals that would otherwise be sitting in a shelter or worse, euthanized due to lack of room in a shelter. For the past two years I've fostered pit bull type dogs for a rescue in South Dakota. I've also had the opportunity to do some presentations on responsible pet ownership and have been involved in fighting breed specific legislation in SD and IA. I'm looking forward to providing the readers with animal related topics and possibly answer any questions you may have. Enjoy! Stephanie Sioux Empire Pit Rescue Volunteer
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